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A blog about thrifty DIY, furniture makeovers, decor and design for the home with a farmhouse cottage lakeside feel.

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    Barstools are handy for extra seating and make great easy to move side tables. 

    We will find lots of uses for this wood and white pair of barstools with grain sack inspired stripes.

    I sanded down the tops and used Varathane Wood Stain in Early American and then painted the stripes with General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint. The tops are protected with three coats of Minwax poly. The bases are painted with GF Snow White Milk Paint and waxed with Miss Mustard Seed Antiquing Wax and Annie Sloan Soft Wax. Yeah, quite a few products there but I like using what I have on hand for these almost no cost projects. The GF milk paint goes on so beautifully although without a primer the Snow White needs three coats. I discovered that the antiquing wax works better on projects with more raised details but it did help 'age' the bright white. I used painters tape for the lines, 'aged' the stripes with a wet paper towel and removed the tape almost immediately.

    The before was a simple but sturdy varnished wood from a garage sale ($5 for the pair.)

    The white, wood and black suits our home so much better and is versatile enough to use in any room in our home.

    It is a rainy day here today so I photographed them on our kitchen table under a skylight. We are using one bar stool in our living room beside my favorite knitting/reading chair for my water or iced-coffee and the other in our family room beside the leather recliner for our guys' cell phones while they watch tv. Handy and they don't take up as much space as a full side table.

    Our home is truly a work in progress and done on a tight budget but it feels good when even little projects like this one that cost $5 (and supplies on hand) fit my design style. Thanks for visiting!

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  • 08/17/15--10:13: Pedestal End Tables Makeover
  • This weekend I painted two different but similar pedestal end tables for our living room.

    We have been using a round pedestal table on the window side of the couch and I was happy to find a similar sized table with a square top for the other end of the sofa.

    The round table needed repainting so I primed both with Zinnser Cover Stain and then painted them with two coats of General Finishes Snow White Milk Paint. Finally I protected them with a poly topcoat.

    I like that the side tables are the same colour and a similar but not matching style. I sold the large round pedestal coffee table even though it was a favourite piece. It was too big and heavy for our small living room and three pedestal tables seemed a bit much.

    Tomorrow I will post a late summer living room tour. I have some changes planned for Fall and didn't get a chance to share an early summer tour. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you can come back to see the full tour.

    Joining the following link parties...

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  • 08/18/15--05:30: Summer Living Room Tour
  • Before I make some minor changes to our living room and decorate for Fall, I thought I would share some photos of our white, grey and turquoise living room in late summer.

    Our white slipcovers need washed and I am trying out an IKEA billy bookcase but this is our smaller front living room as it was this weekend. Our living room doesn't get a lot of light so the white walls really work in this room (Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls although the rest of our main floor is BM Simply White and Revere Pewter.) 

    Yesterday I shared the makeover of the pedestal end tables. We sold the large heavy pedestal coffee table. It was a favourite piece but was quite big for this smaller (10' x 14') room. 

    We moved the wood dresser and mirror to try an IKEA billy bookcase but I'm not sure if this will stay. Maybe two bookcases would look better? I am thinking of using the  farmhouse sofa table I painted or possibly bring back the wood dresser

    We have a family room and a basement sitting room for watching TV so our front room is more for visiting and where I often read or knit. I use a white set of string lights in the window at Christmas and decided to add them back but first I stuffed each light into a little natural rattan ball. They look so pretty at night.

    I like wood and galvanized pieces mixed in with the whites and there will be more of this in the changes I have planned. 

    Our living room is open to the front entry and dining room. The galvanized pots in the wood crate on the ledge hold our assorted glasses and sunglasses, easily accessible from the hall table on the other side. 

    We had a lot of rain the other day but I rescued a few hydrangeas to fill a pitcher on the coffee table. The grey and white buffalo check pillow covers are IKEA and I made the floral and grain sack inspired pillow covers.

    I stuffed big 26" feather inserts with simple white pillow covers into a $5 galvanized wash tub (but first sprayed the interior with a sealer to keep any bits of rust off the linens.) When we have family gatherings the young people often end up sprawled on pillows on the floor.

    A moss ball in a little urn is on the black plant stand neear the window. I like using black in all the rooms in our home.

    And this is a dark photo of our 5 year old girl Remington, a chocolate Lab. She is one of the reasons I love my white slipcovers (and leather in the family room.) We are puppy sitting my sister and family's 5 1/2 month old Labradoodle for a few days so I won't be getting too much done haha. These girls are neighbours and see each other a lot, but they are still getting used to each other. Thanks for visiting today!

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    I finished a large chalkboard for our kitchen and I love how the pine stained frame looks with our Simply White and Revere Pewter wall colours.

    After painting and selling several buffet and hutches I have finally figured out that I prefer this wall in our kitchen with a lower storage piece. I have plans and bought the wood to make a lower sideboard/shelves. That leaves me with wall space to decorate above the future storage piece.

    I wanted a big chalkboard for this area and made one using pine planks and a piece of white board. Four coats of chalkboard paint and I will season it with chalk soon. The chalkboard measures 28" x 45" overall. I stained the pine with Minwax Early American (that looks darker and less orange in real life) and gave it one coat of satin poly.

    Besides making the sideboard shelves I also plan to make a tall and narrow cupboard (sort of like a chimney cupboard) to use for a broom, mop and a few cleaning supplies. It will go to the right of the chalkboard next to our patio doors. Our laundry room is upstairs near our bedrooms and there is no mudroom in our home so finding a storage spot on the main floor for a broom etc. has always been a pain. There will be items on the shelves below the chalkboard and I am thinking of adding some ironstone platters or plates above the chalkboard. Would that look too busy? 

     I hope you have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

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  • 08/26/15--05:30: Kitchen Mirror Painted Grey
  • Moving along in smaller projects for our kitchen, this time I re-painted the vintage mirror that hangs under our kitchen cabinets, directly above our sink.

    I am working towards even more neutrals in our home and last year painted our main floor in white and greys (BM Simply White and Revere Pewter, plus a Gray Owl half bath.) I am also working on adding in more wood tones and texture. 

    This is the mirror the first time I painted it in a light turquoise. While I love turquoise/aqua and blues, I have discovered that I prefer them in easily removable seasonal accents. For Fall, Christmas and our long winter I like a neutral base of whites, greys and black. Being over the sink, the mirror with all its detail needed to repainted. Cleaning just wouldn't cut it any more. I used a medium grey with a darker grey wash over top and then waxed it. Still deciding if I should use a dark wax.

    On Monday I shared the big pine chalkboard I made for this same kitchen wall (in the eat-in area.) Other projects in the near future include building the sideboard I mentioned in that post and changing (or spray painting) our brass knobs to black. I also need to either freshen the paint on the backsplash or put up some beadboard (either one in Simply White.) Our kitchen is 17 years old and while I would love a tile backsplash, at this point I will wait for tile until we can afford new counters or a kitchen redo. I like ticking little projects like this off my to do list. Thanks for visiting!

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    Happy Labour Day! I head back to work tomorrow after a full two month summer vacation and I have been busy trying to finish a few projects. I have been wanting to add some hooks to our front hall and came up with a solution this past week.

    We had four extra black iron coat hooks that matched the ones we are using in the basement stairway. I considered staining a plank of wood and then decided to add the hooks to this little shelf we had in the basement TV room.

    Dark basement photo of the garage sale shelf's first makeover.

    There seemed to be too much blank space above the peg hooks where the oh so 90's wallpaper border featuring teddy bears on hunter green paint once was. Does anyone else remember the craft shows with vendors selling stacks of these with assorted borders?

    I am liking its new look by the front door so much better. (Please excuse the iphone photos on a very sunny day in our dark hall.) We have a coat closet to the left and the hooks in the stairway but this will be a quick landing spot for scarves, bags and our guys ballcaps until we get a chance to put them away.

    A bonus is the shelf for display. Our door bell is in an awkward spot but I will either paint it the wall colour (BM Revere Pewter) or find something to cover it.

    Our oldest son had a bunch of scrap lumber in his truck from a finished job and I rescued the better pieces from the fire pit pile. After some sanding, craft paints and stain, I hand painted letters for a little 'fall' display. Both the coat hook shelf and Fall display were $0 projects as we had everything on hand.

    I still plan to add beefier trim above our front door and I have the closet door left to paint and change the hardware on. I will share photos when it is complete.

    Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a great week!

    Linking up to the following parties...
    Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

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    With the change over to Fall textures and colours (in our home that means mostly neutrals) I put away the turquoise and aqua pillows in our living room. I have been enjoying using more text and graphics in our decor and inspired by lots of images on Interest, blogs and Instagram I decided to paint and sew some simple pillows with text.

    For these pillows I used supplies I already had on hand (letter stencils, craft paint, fabric medium, muslin and drop cloth fabric.) I used the same technique as I did with this Canada flag pillow and this Christmas JOY pillow. I had seen TRUE NORTH as a graphic somewhere and decided to use it for the first pillow cover to remind us of our country's beautiful outdoors ('True North Strong and Free' is part of our national anthem.) The 22" feather insert is from IKEA.

    The second pillow slip is smaller and I used poly stuffing to fill it. This little character pillow was inspired directly by the stencil. The stencil set has about 8 characters per sheet and two sheets were filled with characters and punctuation. I just mixed them up randomly. Quick, easy and no new cost. 

    The star pillow is one I made last year. The beautiful and soft Swedish Stripe Woven Cotton Throw is a Dash and Albert that I bought from Meg at Oliver and Rust last year. Last week on Instagram I shared these new pillows in our living room but these photos are the same pillows being tried out in our family room. I am loving the $0 cost and quick solution to fresh new pillows that can be used just about anywhere in our home.

    On Monday I will be sharing the picture ledges I added behind this chair, another $0 project using items on hand. I also need to hang and share the rustic wood mantel I made for our fireplace. Hopefully this will be finished soon so I can add some Fall decor to our family room.  It is a cool and rainy weekend here. And a quiet one for hubby and I. Our sons are responsible for the animals in the Agriculture Awareness tent at our local Fall Fair from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon (including sleeping overnight for security and care of the animals.) I hope you have a great weekend!

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    Happy Monday! We had a cool and rainy weekend here in southern Ontario. Not the best light for photos but I wanted to share the picture ledge gallery wall I worked on early in September. This end wall in our family room has had quite a few versions of a photo gallery and although not completely finished, I am finally happy with how it is looking. You might be able to tell by the number of photos ;)

    I have the wood to build a shallow but fairly wide shelf/table behind the leather recliner for storage and display. I may have to shift the couch and chair down a bit but if I keep it shallow it should fit.

    After painting our family room Simply White (and Revere Pewter on other walls) this was the first version of a photo gallery that I tried on this wall including some empty frames.

    This is the second version where I replaced the larger empty frames with two single grad photos.

    Then the third version where I lowered the center photos and a fourth version (I can't find a picture of it) had a triple grad photo frame above this grouping. It was getting better but still not what I wanted. 

    I wanted more of a collected and layered feel. We have been doing quite a few no-new-cost projects lately and like those I challenged myself to change up this wall with items and supplies already on hand. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I pulled it together.

    I started by painting four clear pine IKEA picture ledges that used to hang on our stairs wall about 10 years ago. Then I carefully measured, used a level, anchors and studs to hang them. I had to work around an awkwardly placed light switch so I hung them high and will continue to add some wall mounted and propped pieces below the ledges. 

    I decided on a mostly black and white theme using frames we already had (including taking down the gallery wall above the living room couch.) Then I shopped the house and made some new pieces to layer and fill the ledges. I love wood + white + black so I stained some wood scraps and painted 
    quick little graphics.

    Inspired by Shannon at AKA Designs, I made a version of her Arrow Art With Paint Markers. 

    I had a clearance gold R for our last name in the basement and then remembered two small gold frames from a garage sale.

    For one frame I printed out a free maple leaves graphic.

    For the second gold frame I typed out a fake flashcard (4 for our family + 5 for my sister's family who we hang with all the time = 9.)  A little painted number 4 on a scrap of stained wood (four my family of four.) The pretty glass and metal frame was a birthday gift from a work friend. 

    Then I repeated the glass in a science beaker with wheat. 

    And since three's work best I added a vintage glass cream bottle. I stamped a maple leaf onto a cork circle and tied it on with twine.

    I liked the bit of cork so I added a piece of cork to a black painted frame and glued on scrabble tiles -BE YOU. The little painted 'love' block added a third wood element.

    I used both family photos and a few frame fillers. I may change the fillers out to photos eventually. The vintage photo in the top left corner is a favourite of my little sister/bff and I at our oldest sister's wedding when we were 4 and 5 1/2.

    These new pillow covers that I made may not stay in our family room. Time will tell ;)  Now to find something simple for over our leather couch and knock a few more projects off my unfinished list (hang the rustic wood mantel I made two weeks ago, finish the board and batten on the fireplace wall, finish the farmhouse table I cut down for a desk...) so I can start the rustic narrow console table. A rug is not in the budget right now but that would be really nice eventually. 

    This no new cost picture ledge gallery is one of my favourite wall arrangements to date. Thanks for visiting!

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  • 09/23/15--18:33: Our Fall Farmhouse Kitchen
  • Today I am sharing our kitchen with some simple Fall decor. Last week was hot and humid here in southern Ontario but after heavy rains on Saturday it cooled down quite a bit. Fall is definitely in the air. 

    Our home is 17 years old and we are the original owners. The kitchen is the same age and I hesitated about taking full photos. While I would love all new cabinets, appliances and hardwood floors, that is not in our near future. Instead I am learning to be thankful for what we have and I am doing small projects as time and budget allows. 

    Late last year we painted our main floor, including our kitchen, Revere Pewter and Simply White. We use the eat-in area of our kitchen regularly so I kept the decor simple. The chalkboard I made last month got a quick message and I added a simple arrangement to the farmhouse table. 

    The ironstone platter and plates above the chalkboard add a bit of interest while still being neutral

    I sold the aqua barstools last year and replaced them with this pair of black metal barstools. I like that they are light and tuck in out of the way. I hope to add some chunkier corbels to the breakfast bar.

    I would like to make a narrow sideboard-like shelf for under the chalkboard and a tall narrow cabinet (similar to a chimney cabinet) in the corner for our broom and mop. It drives me a bit crazy that our builder didn't include a pantry or broom closet. 

    On the table I used a linen runner from a few years ago (simple linen tea towel by the metre and I only had to sew the ends.) I love using neutrals in our home and pulled this little centerpiece together without buying anything new. I used a small wood cabinet door painted ASCP Old White as a base then added the last of my hydrangeas, a berry wreath, pinecones and the faux pumpkins. The pumpkins were the typical orange plastic variety that I painted. 

    The open shelves have stayed the same for some time now. I used to change the shelves each season but lately I prefer the simplicity of the ironstone pudding bowls and my collection of aqua CROWN canning jars.

    Our family room and eat in area of the kitchen are flooded with light from a pair of skylights, patio doors and a wall of windows in the family room. This seems to make the windowless work area of our kitchen darker, especially in late afternoon. We added the board and batten several years ago.

    The framed photos are some I took on a relative's dairy farm. This is the farm where our 18 year old son keeps his Jersey cow and calf. 

    I love to bake and have glass canisters with metal scoops to keep our flours, sugars, and oatmeal handy (I need to add whole wheat flour and white sugar to the grocery list.)

    The work area of our kitchen is not fancy but it works well for us. I plan to change the brass knobs to black soon. I added the trim detail to the soffits above the cabinets and still need to finish caulking and painting it.

    I'm hoping to add some kind of backsplash. Bringing some wood to this end of the kitchen would be nice but I may just use beadboard or shiplap since we aren't replacing the counters. New light fixtures are on my wish list as well.

    There isn't a window above our sink so I added a mirror for a little interest. I originally painted this vintage garage sale mirror turquoise but recently changed it to grey.

    I always enjoy bringing out this framed Autumn cross-stitched piece from several years ago.

    There are only four drawers in our kitchen so this crock works well for storing wooden spoons and cooking utensils. The last of the rudbeckia in a vintage milk bottle adds a bit of colour.

    I painted the bakery sign but got a little crazy with the distressing. It needs a touch up.

    I used stamps to make this tag and added it to the basket on our fridge. The basket stores bags of chips.

    Well that was quite a few photos and lots of projects I still want to do but probably the most I have ever shared of our kitchen. I am working on embracing the imperfect :)  Thanks for visiting! 

    Sharing this at...
    Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
    Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
    Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home

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    Thanks to Kris from Junk Chic Cottage, today I am in the Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger.

    I hope you get a chance to stop by and check it out. Kris has a lovely decorating style and is such a kind and supportive blogging friend! Thanks again Kris!

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    Often when a new or re-purposed piece of furniture finds a place in our home there is a domino effect as I move things about, make do with a piece for now or sell other pieces.

    Last week I finished converting our first farmhouse table into a desk for the family room. That meant the small drop leaf table we were using as a computer desk went back to my hobby room and this little bookcase was no longer needed. The bookcase was originally a faux wood that I primed and painted Mercury Glass White. After the shuffle, it was waiting patiently by the stairs for one of my guys to carry it up to the hobby room when I got an idea. I plan to make a long rustic console table for this spot in our dining room but for now this would be a nice filler. Plus it gives me a bit of storage and another place to create vignettes. 

    I shopped our home and decor storage for the accessories. The only new purchase was the galvanized star (around $4 with a 50% off Michael's coupon.) The courting candle was a Christmas gift many years ago. Everything else was thrifted, garage sale or clearance. 

    The hydrangeas are the last squished ones from our garden but I still think they are pretty.

    I filled the shelves with a few collections that needed a home until the console is built.

    I'm happy to have a temporary place for the stack of ironstone platters I have been collecting. Since I sold the kitchen china cabinets (yes more than one, at least three that I can recall) the platters haven't had a dedicated spot. I kept moving them to the floor when we needed the kitchen table. I painted the little heart on the wood scrap when I was making my kitchen chalkboard

    The wire baskets were HomeSense clearance a few years ago and are waiting for the console table to be built. I added some mixed white plates to one and the plain glass vintage canning jars to the other. 

    Most of the mason jars are stamped 'CROWN made in Canada' like the aqua collection on our kitchen shelves.

    The mercury glass footed bowl was a $3 clearance at a little decor store up north several years ago. The glass milk bottle says "Brampton Jerseys" (neighbouring city and our son owns a Jersey calf and cow.) The square platter and crochet edged runner were garage sale finds. Neutral pieces like these get used over and over in many seasons. 

    I used a vintage industrial wood spool as a riser for another plastic pumpkin that I painted. 

    There wasn't a great plan to how everything gets styled but I do like to repeat items, colours and materials on the top, the shelves and across the room in the china cabinet (white dishes, metals, galvanized, mercury glass, clear glass, neutral linens etc.) Perfectly imperfect ha! From start to finish in about 20 minutes. 

    And just like that, a little texture and interest for this empty wall in our dining room (after I sold both the wine cabinet and the pine pie cabinet that were there for several years each -the side effects of my little painting and furniture flipping side business.) My guys were happy because no one had to carry yet another piece of furniture upstairs. Yet.

     If you didn't get a chance to stop by Kris' Junk Chic Cottage, I was the Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind The Blogger.  Tomorrow I will be sharing the rest of our dining room with Fall decor. Thanks for visiting!

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    Welcome to our suburban southern Ontario home. While my guys were up north on Sunday I took some photos of our dining room decorated for Fall. Okay, a lot of photos. 

    I like using neutrals in our home and love the Benjamin Moore Simply White walls (the wall opposite the window is actually Revere Pewter as it is also kind of an open hallway/traffic path from the front door through to the family room.) Whites with wood plus lots of black and grey are my preferred colours.

    We have a very tight budget for decor so there are mostly handmade, garage sale, kijiji and clearance items mixed in with a few purchases. We had the farmhouse table and Windsor chairs made after we got married 23 years ago and I'm pretty sure the light fixture was Home Depot full price.  

    I pulled the table back a bit for this full shot of the pine Mennonite made buffet and hutch. I am thinking of painting it a solid black. The cabinet is filled with white dishes. I love collecting white pitchers and have a line of them on top of the hutch and some inside on the shelves.

    The small boxwood adds some texture and a bit of colour. I am feeling the need for more greenery and plants in our home and need to work on this. 

    The pumpkin covered soup bowls are from HomeSense a few years ago. The trio of candle holders have a stained glass look to them and my favourite scented candles are baking related (maple, brown sugar, cinnamon, pretty much anything that would make a good dessert lol.)

    The pine farmhouse table is simply set with painted grey chargers, white dinner plates and thrifted 'The Friendly Village' bowls. 

    I love the wavy glass of these lanterns. A few pinecones and painted pumpkins are scattered on the layered table runners with a wood berry garland.

    Oops, I just realized I forgot the cutlery! So not a pro at tablescapes lol. 

    But I have sorted through my collected plates and napkins and narrowed them down to my favourites. Now I know what filler pieces to keep an eye out for. 

    The grey chargers were originally shiny green post-Christmas clearance chargers (90% off at Michaels.) I spray painted them with grey primer and then finished with grey chalky paint and wax. 

    I would eventually like a rug under the table to break up the wood tones.

    The opening in the wall lets light into our basement stairway. That is our small front entry and front door beyond.

    On the weekend I moved this extra little bookcase in here until we make a long rustic console table for this wall. I shared more photos and details in this post.

    I took these brown transferware plates down when I painted the main floor last Fall but brought them back out recently for either side of the window

    I sewed the curtains several years ago from cotton sheeting fabric with a narrow tone on tone stripe. Our dining room tends to be a bit dark despite the white walls so this weekend I put clip rings back on the curtains to allow them to open more fully.

    So that's our rustic farmhouse dining room with some simple Fall decor. Our Canadian Thanksgiving is next weekend but since we host 11-20 on average our dinner is often buffet style. Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a chance to let me know you were here!

    Sharing this with...
    The Scoop at Stone Gable, Worthing Court, Confessions of A Plate Additct, and Cedar Hill Farmhouse
    Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
    Be Inspired at Elizabeth & Co.

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    Happy weekend! Today I wanted to share a recent thrift store purchase of a white crocheted throw and some charcoal pillow covers that I sewed.

    This new white crocheted throw was a $2.50 find at our local store. It is a small thrift store but I like to stop by to see if they have the items on my regular 'search' list (canning jars, wool blankets, ironstone etc.) This throw is quite large and still had a hand written tag with a length of extra yarn attached. Lucky for me it was also half off linens day (reg. $5.) 

    With it being Fall and with winter approaching I wanted to add some darker and warmer-feeling pieces to our living room. My oldest sister gave me this charcoal grey suiting fabric that has a lovely texture. I sewed some simple pillow covers for a pair of pillows on our living room couch. (The buffalo plaid pillow covers are IKEA, the grey plaid are RL napkins sewed into pillows, and the others I hand painted on heavy muslin.)

    Did I mention how soft and big this lovely blanket is?! 

    Nice and wide and long enough to cover head to toes and then some.  I washed the throw in hot water, dried it in the dryer and it seems even softer now. I can't even buy a single ball of wool for that price either. L o v e !

    I took advantage of the sun this morning to take way too many photos ;) of our Fall living room. I will be sharing a full tour soon. I wanted to wait until I added wood planks to our stand in coffee table but I decided I need to finish other projects first.

    It is a sunny and very cool Fall day here in southern Ontario. The temps dipped below 0 Celcius (32 F) overnight and this morning, with a high of 5 C (41 F) this afternoon. If you can call that a high, We even had some wet flurries. Don't want to be saying that four letter S*** word quite yet but there was accumulation north of us overnight and this morning. I'm happy to have another warm throw if I feel the need for some snuggle time. Hope you have a great day and weekend. I will be back soon with more photos of our Fall living room.

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    Continuing on from the Fall tours of our kitchen and dining room, today I am sharing our Fall living room. For this season I have cozied up our very light front room with textures, cozy throws and some darker colours. 

    Our home is rustic casual and neutral with lots of whites, wood, greys, browns and black. Our living room is not our tv/family room, but a room we enjoy for reading, visiting with friends and family, and my favourite spot to do needlework while my guys flop down and we talk about our day. 

    The gallery wall we had over the couch for several years was replaced with this pair of chalkboards I made last month.

    I used the same pine and stain as the farmhouse sofa table that I made over, and the kitchen chalkboard. The IKEA bookcase I was trying in here in the summer was moved upstairs and replaced with the farmhouse table. The big white crocheted throw adds some texture and is so soft.

    This is the view from our front entry and staircase. Our living room was the first room that I painted white back in 2011 (Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls.) Over 4 years later and I still love it, Since then I have also painted  our basement guest bedroom Cotton Balls white and other rooms BM Simply White: half of our kitchen and family room, our dining room, my hobby studio, our basement stair way and now I am working on our upstairs guest bedroom. White walls are not for everyone but I truly enjoy them in our home.

    As much as I enjoy white, I am finding that I love the rustic contrast of white and wood. Wood planks will also soon be added to the top of our 'for now' coffee table. 

    I simplified the Fall accents I used this year. This dark grey wood tray on the coffee table gets a lot of use year round. I changed out the white cut work linen piece for an ecru crocheted piece. To keep the look simple I added pillar candles wrapped in birch bark and tied with twine, and a simple wood berry garland in Fall colours.

    On the farmhouse table I added a wheat sheaf tied with burlap ribbon and a white ceramic pumpkin to pieces that I like to use year round: wood spools, mason jars, mercury glass, metal, architectural salvage and candles.

    I was going to use a runner on the table for more texture but couldn't bear to cover up the plank top that I added when I made over the table.

    I use a variety of metals and on this one side of the room there are wire baskets to hold books and magazines, a galvanized watering can and wash tub (it holds larger floor pillows and a plaid throw), a black painted metal sphere and star, shiny silver on the lamp and an aged brass ceiling fixture (not shown.)

    The grey buffalo check pillows are from Ikea. I painted and sewed the True North, gather and punctuation pillow covers. The grey plaid pillows were made using Ralph Lauren napkins. Last week I sewed the charcoal grey pillows using suiting fabric my oldest sister gave me.

     The grey wool blanket was a thrift store find. I painted the barstool then re-stained and added grainsack inspired stripes.

    We keep sunglasses and safety glasses in the small galvanized pots in the wooden crate. I found the vintage black and white ironstone plates and platters with farm scenes in a dusty box at the Aberfoyle Antique Market for $20. The platters are very heavy and I hung them with DISC adhesive plate hangers.

    That is the front entry through the opening. The hall paint colour is Revere Pewter. It has been cold here this past week so definitely time to bring out my winter scarves. The grey and white striped curtains are from IKEA.

    The tables are all garage sale or kijiji finds that I painted white (and the farmhouse table is ASCP Old White and Provence.)

     A shutter that I painted grey and the galvanized pieces add a bit of interest to this corner. One of my favourite scented candles is nestled in a wood berry wreath on a simple white plate.

    Thanks for stopping by our cozy Fall living room. It is decorated with lots of inexpensive finds but is one of my favourite rooms in our home. Our Canadian Thanksgiving was two weekends ago so except for decorating our front porch and entry for Halloween, it is full on planning for Christmas decor for me.

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    The Scoop at Worthing Court, Confessions of A Plate Addict, StoneGable and Cedar Hill Farmhouse

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    Little did I know when I used Simply White to paint our family room in July 2014, our kitchen in November 2014, and our dining room in November 2014, that Benjamin Moore would announce, earlier this month, Simply White as the Colour of the Year for 2016. At the time I searched through tons of white paint chips and decided on Simply White OC-117. Now, over a year later, it is the upcoming Colour of the Year. 

    I know I have said it many times, but I love love this colour. We bought our newly built home 17 years ago and I have painted many times. Never have I been happier with my paint choices than I was last year when I picked new colours for our main floor.

    The rooms on our main floor flow into one another and share walls. Because we have the board and batten on one kitchen wall...

    and wrapping around to the family room fireplace wall, I didn't want to use Simply White above the board and batten, which is painted BM Snowfall White. I wanted the board and batten to stand out a bit.  (The photo above is a nighttime IG photo of the new faux beam fireplace mantel in progress.)

    We have lots of light in the kitchen and family room end of our home from patio doors, family room windows and two skylights in the cathedral ceiling. The white looks so fresh in here and I think it works really well with the wood stained chalkboard frame and open shelves. Black is one of my favourite accent colours and I think it looks so good against the Simply White backdrop.

    Our dining room and front of our home often appear darker as there is only the dining room window (which faces our neighbour's brick wall), a narrow window in our living room, and the front entry door and sidelight. By painting the walls Simply White our dining room no longer feels gloomy. 

    Just like in our kitchen, I love the white with our wood tones and black furniture pieces. 

    Besides being brigher, the white also makes our small dining room appear larger. 

    I think it is the perfect backdrop for our brown leather sofa and recliner and keeps the family room from feeling dark.

    From Benjamin Moore:  "The Color Studio arrived at Simply White OC-117 after careful review of the company's more than 250 white selections. According to the Color Studio, it was the most neutral, level and constant in the various light sources used in today's design environments."

    I have used white on our walls in other rooms as well, BM Cotton Balls in our living room (May 2011)...

    ... our oldest son's basement bedroom (January 2012),,,

    ...and our 4th upstairs bedroom/hobby studio (July 2011). 

    If that isn't a crazy amount of white rooms, our guest bedroom upstairs is patched and waiting to be primed and painted Simply White and our master bedroom is partially painted Simply White (I stopped in the middle of painting our master bedroom when the new roof  leaked again and I had to repatch a freshly painted corner wall.) 

    White walls are not for everyone but I love them with the neutrals, wood tones, browns, blacks and textures that I use in our rustic casual home. And I have a wee bit of a head start on using the Benjamin Moore Colour of the Year for 2016 -Simply White ;)

    Linking up to the following parties...
    Show and Share at Coastal Charm
    Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life

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    Along with the shorter days this time of year it is starting to feel like winter here in southern Ontario. Hubby had to scrape frost off my van windows before I could leave for work this morning. I have put away our simple Fall decor and I am just beginning to work on ideas for our Christmas decor. This past weekend I painted two small signs to help add some holiday cheer to our home.

    The signs are not my original designs but they were fun to work on. I cut a pine board that we had on hand in half and just started painting. The best part is that I had all the supplies on hand and in a few hours (including dry time) I had two new signs. These instagram photos don't show the distressed edges very clearly, but I will be sharing photos again when I decide where to use them.

    I don't have any fancy cutting tools so I just printed off some font on the computer for the Rudolph sign and traced the letters. The lettering is not perfect but it will do! For the JOY sign I traced large alphabet stencils.

    Our fireplace wall is finished and I will be sharing it and a faux beam mantel just as soon as I can take better photos. I also need to share the farmhouse table that I cut down in size, stained and painted in ASCP for our family room computer desk. I wanted something for the corner of the desk and went looking for a large vase at the thrift store. This 12" glass vase was $5 and I filled it with birch branches, corks and red bead berries. I may switch the beads out for bells.

    Are you hanging on to Fall a bit longer? Are you American and waiting for your Thanksgiving or do you like to combine the holidays? Our Canadian Thanksgiving was in early October so I hope to get a start on more of my Christmas decor this weekend. Thanks for visiting!

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    Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

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    This vintage three drawer dresser was a garage sale find from a neighbouring street that I picked up in September. I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.

    It is a solid wood piece and has four original little casters. I chose to keep the original pulls but sprayed them silver for a bit of an update.

    There are some cute details like the double waterfall top and a little built in corner piece in the top drawer for coins or something small. I considered distressing this chest of drawers, or adding some text details, but plain sells the best here.

     I did paint the drawers in a fun turquoise for a pop of colour.

    I've had wear problems with wax and Old White in the past, and since it is a resale piece I went with a satin poly protection.

    Maybe it will find a new home soon.

    I hope you had a great weekend. Are you busy decorating for Christmas, still too early, or have you finished? I started decorating for Christmas three weeks ago and I'm almost finished. I do a bit each night after work and on the weekends. I also made some ornaments and sewed new pillow covers, a table runner and white twill stockings for our family room. More Christmas photos to come!

    Sharing at the following link parties...

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  • 11/30/15--17:06: Our Christmas Mantel 2015
  • Today I am sharing our fireplace mantel decorated for Christmas. The board and batten and shiplap on our fireplace/TV wall is finally finished and for the first time since we bought our home 17 years ago, I have a mantel to decorate! 

    Our home is decorated with lots of neutrals (whites, greys, browns, black and wood tones) year round and I add red and some sparkle for Christmas.

    The fireplace is in our family room beside the TV nook. Now that I finished the shiplap and faux beam mantel I love sitting in here while my guys watch TV. I check up on my favourite blogs and Instagram feeds and enjoy the view.

    I chose to keep the rustic feel on our mantel with vintage wooden spools, pillar candles wrapped in birch and tied with twine, a 'snowy' garland with frosted pinecones and berries, and a carved white deer. 

    We have cross-stitched family stockings that I am hanging upstairs so I sewed some simple white denim twill stockings and added upholstery webbing for a cuff. Large black metal letters with burlap ribbons add a bit of interest.

    The greenery with frosted berries and pinecones hanging from the mirror matches the garland on the mantel. I added tiny twinkle lights to the mantel but the batteries are dead so I will replace them and take some evening photos.

    Our fireplace gets lots of light from the kitchen patio doors, family room windows, and two skylights at the back of our home. I just wish the front rooms were as bright!

    I enjoy mixing our Christmas decor with my vintage collections and year round decor, changing it up from year to year. 

    My goal is always to use what we have in different ways, hand craft new items, and only spend a small amount on a few new pieces and supplies. My budget limits me to not buying all the latest things but at the same time encourages me to be creative in making our home comfortable and pretty. 

    The old milking pail is filled with greenery, birch logs, pinecones and red wood berries on sticks.

    I love seeing the boad and batten finally continue around from the kitchen side of the wall. It was a project that I started in 2011 so it is nice to only need a few little trim pieces to be totally finished.

    I was going to make stocking hangers but ran out of time but with a rustic mantel a few extra nail holes adds character.

    I am very close to being finished decorating in our family room, kitchen, dining room and living room and will share tours of those spaces over the next week or two. I still need to pick up and add fresh greenery.

    Way too many photos of my mantel but after waiting this many years, and purposely trying to avoid taking pictures of this wall, I was having too much fun.

    This very old antique Canadiana buffet that we use as our tv stand (and stores all my pie and cake pans) is not quite finished. I still need to add another coat of black, distress it and refinish the top. 

    At this busy time of year I am very thankful that you took time to stop by. Is your holiday decorating finished, have you yet to start, or are you somewhere in between? I hope you have a great day!

    Sharing at the following link parties. Be sure to stop by for lots of inspiration.

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    We have a new light for our living room and I love the retro industrial feel that it adds to our home. I was super happy to replace the 17 year old boob light we had in here with something that better suits our design style.

    Recently I was contacted by a lighting company,, with an offer to review a light from their website. I started by looking through the large selection of lighting in Parrot Uncle's web catalog and narrowed my choices down to pendant lighting.  From there I decided that the look I wanted was vintage industrial pendant lighting. 

    There were several that I thought would be perfect for either our living room or family room and I finally decided on the Retro Industrial Style Pendant Light with Matte Black Metal Box Frame. Although this light would suit either room, we decided on our living room for two reasons: it can be seen from the front entry hall and the coffee table below keeps traffic flow from bumping into the lowered pendant.

    When the light arrived we were impressed with the quality of construction. The weld points were nice and neat and it was packaged safely. All hardware for installing it was included and there was lots of wire and chain. We ended up shortening the wire and chain a bit to better suit our living room's 8 foot ceiling height.

    I love black metal so it is a good fit style wise for our home. Isn't it pretty? My favourite part is the seeded glass shade. Love it!

    They even included the edison bulb. I love the glow it gives, especially at night. The light is actually centred in the ceiling but the opening to our living room though which I took photos, is off center.

    Right after we bought our new builder home 17 years ago, there was a leak from the washing machine in our laundry room, directly above our living room. At that time we noticed a tiny bit of stucco discolouration around the 14 inch ceiling mount light but the leak was resolved. When we took the old fixture down our boys discovered some hidden popcorn texture damage. Our living room and cathedral ceiling are the last of the popcorn texture on our main floor and this room is next on our hit list. Our boys did the rest of the main floor, and I told them they had to wait until at least spring to attack this ceiling. We might try a plank ceiling treatment instead. 

    That is the front entry through the parapet opening. I so enjoy seeing the new pendant light from that angle too.

    Now I'm going to make myself a peppermint tea, turn on the Christmas tree lights and the new pendant light and knit more of my new scarf. If you are looking for some affordable holiday lighting, Parrot Uncle has a sale on Christmas lighting right now, starting at $1.99. Thanks for visiting and I'll be back soon with our Christmas home tour. 

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    I was compensated for this post with product to provide opinion on the product and services. As always, the opinions expressed are my own, I will always give my honest opinion, findings or experiences on this topic or product. 

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    I'm joining the Link Party at Jennifer Rizzo's Holiday House Walk 2015 and sharing our Home Tour.

    Be on next years holiday house walk! Join the Holiday house walk 2015 link party!

    Welcome to our Rustic Farmhouse Christmas Home Tour! If you are visiting for the first time, my name is Elizabeth and I live with my husband and two older teen boys in the suburbs of a small town in southern Ontario, Canada, about an hour west of Toronto. If you are a regular reader, you may notice some changes in our home from last Christmas.

    Our family loves to visit extended family on farms and spend time in Ontario's beautiful cottage country. We have been working on affordable diy projects to update our 17 year old builder home and to reflect our interests in farm and lake living, here in the 'burbs. Today I am sharing our rustic casual home where nothing is fancy but friends and our large extended family are always welcome. Prepare for picture overload ;)

    I am finishing up our outdoor decor this week, so we will begin the tour at our front door. I decorate with mostly neutrals in our home year round but added red and plaids for the Christmas season. 

    Our small entry has a coat closet but also serves as our mudroom for the comings and goings of a busy family. My guys wear lots of work boots, barn jackets and work wear, so I added this shelf with extra hooks to supplement the hooks in our basement stairwell.  

    I challenged myself to use the decorations and supplies we already have to deocrate our home for Christmas this year. I had fun finding new ways to display everything and crafted some new items too. I added grapevine wreaths with deer burlap ribbon to both the hall closet and half bath doors.

    The black cabinet holds baskets full of hats, mittens and gloves, and my knitted scarves.

    The half bath is tiny but I managed to fit this narrow rustic cabinet in for extra supplies. It is also a great spot for my collected Santas.

    The quilted Santa advent calendar is several years old and I'm still working on the ornaments that hang on his tree.

    I like incorporating my regular decor items into the Christmas vignettes. This swivel lid wood box that our 16 year old made gives some of the Santas a lift and adds the wood tones that I love using to this room.

    I added red and black check pillows that I made (some with moose fronts) to the year round white with grey and wood front living room. 

    We love the new retro industrial pendant light that we installed last week. The fresh greenery in an ironstone pitcher is a great way to add the scent of real pine when you use an artificial tree.

    I decided to hang the vintage skis above my new chalkboards. The writing on the chalkboard is not perfect but the message is sincere.

    I switched up the usual tray on the coffee table for a footed trifle bowl filled with faux snow, large mercury glass balls, small balls in matte white, shiny white and silver, stars and some greenery.

    Hopefully this display will survive our chocolate Lab Remington's tail and my sister's rambunctious Labradoodle puppy. 

    The living room tree is my 'fun' tree. I used buffalo plaid ribbon, red and brown moose, pinecones, glittery deer, words and stars, sweater trees and balls, wooden candy canes, glittery vintage bulbs, and plaid wrapped balls, plus lots of shiny balls.  

    The farmhouse table I remade has lots of mercury glass pieces, pinecones and a sign I painted. 

    Fresh greenery makes every arrangement look better. I got ours free from a local tree farm by picking up their trimmings.

    I always keep my latest needlework project in our living room, this time a knit scarf in chunky grey. We use the big white pillows in the galvanized washtub as floor pillows when the young people are hanging out. I bought the galvanized tub for our tree but the stand didn't fit.

    I added a strand of bells to the buffet and hutch and a trio of clear glass vases filled with silver balls to the dining room table. The vases were clearance at a local grocery store for 74 cents each!

    I painted the cardboard banner letters with chalkboard paint and wrote Merry Christmas on them.

    Moving on to the family room at the back of our home. I am so happy to finally have this fireplace shiplap and board and batten wall with mantel finished. I will share the before and after in an upcoming post. I found the glass vases at the thrift store to hold bells and the free birch limbs. We still have some trim work to finish in here but it is a huge improvement from last year.

    The new faux beam mantel is decorated with vintage wooden spools, candles wrapped in birch, and the deer nestled in the icy garland. The vintage milk pail is filled with more greenery, birch and red wood berries. I sewed the white twill denim stockings this year and used upholstery webbing for the cuff.

    I will add better photos of our family room tree to the individual room tours coming up. 

    I added tartan plaid and buffalo check pillows to our leather seating. The gallery wall has a few Christmas accents. The big black wooden bowl holds vintage silver and red ball ornaments and pinecones.

    Looking toward the back yard and the cathedral ceiling end of our home, we have a new computer table. I cut down an old farmhouse table and restained the butcher block top. I also added castors to the metal tool drawers that I repurposed for office storage under the table. Our family tree with all the collected and special family ornaments sits between the family room windows and the kitchen patio doors.

    Some vignettes in our family room. The only newly purchased item in this collage is the plaid fabric on the ottoman.

    Moving around the tree you come into the eat-in area of our kitchen, which shares the cathedral ceiling and skylights with the back of our family room.

    If you don't know, I work full time in education, but I also paint furniture for our home and resale. I wanted to finish building a rustic console shelf for behind the table but we didn't get it finished in time. Instead I am using a vintage dresser that I painted for our hot chocolate bar. The dresser might be going to a new home this week. 

    I added strings of red bells and beads to the chalkboard. I sewed the tartan table runner. The tray is easily removed for family dinners.

    Greenery with pinecones was added to the crock that holds my rolling pin collection.

    I kept the open shelves beside our breakfast bar simple for Christmas with just the NOEL, some red berry garland and fresh pine added to my aqua mason jars and ironstone pudding bowls. 

    The little tree in the galvanized bucket is decorated with vintage moulds, small ironstone pitchers, vintage biscuit cutters, bulbs from old Christmas light strands and burlap garland and bow.

    Our little hot chocolate bar with candy canes and marshmallows. The gingerbread people cookies are from a local bakery and were delicious!

    I added a small wreath to the board and batten wall and a little cow angel ornament to the bread box.

    The work area of our kitchen has only a few Christmas additions.

    Well, if you made it this far, thank you! I will end the tour here in the kitchen as we are currently in the patching and priming stages of our master bedroom, guest bedroom and ensuite bath. I will be sure to share these spaces when they are finished. If you have any questions I would be more than happy to answer them. Thanks for visiting at this busy time of year! I wish you and your family the happiest of holidays and a very Merry Christmas.

    Thanks Jennifer Rizzo and Joss and Main for hosting all the beautiful Holiday Housewalk Tours. I look forward to seeing the tours in the link party.

    Sharing at ...
    Show and Share at Coastal Charm
    Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
    Be Inspired at Elizabeth & Co.


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